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22 August 2022

What Cooling System Is Best for a Gaming PC?

When it comes to making your gaming PC perform at its best, cooling matters. From prolonging the life of important components, to providing a performance boost, it’s well worth investing in a cooling system for your PC. But, what type of cooling system is best for a gaming PC? Keep reading to discover the answer…


What is a gaming PC cooling system?

 

If you’re relatively new to the world of PC gaming, you may be wondering what exactly we are referring to when we talk about PC cooling systems.


Well, the answer is that a cooling system is simply a series of components which work together to remove waste heat from within your PC’s case.

 

Shop around gaming PCs today, and you’ll find that there are two main types of cooling systems in use; air and liquid.

 

Why is it important to keep your gaming PC cool?

 

Although the majority of PC components are designed to produce as little heat as possible, the fact is, they do produce heat - especially when subjected to significant processing loads.

 

Many components are designed to throttle their performance when they start to get too hot - so, if you don’t have a sufficiently effective cooling system in your computer, you will find that your computer’s performance degrades as it gets hotter.

 

Exposure to excessive heat will also reduce the lifespan of your computer’s components. This is particularly worrying when you consider that some components - such as the graphics card - can be expensive.

 

What’s more, other components such as the CPU and motherboard aren’t easily replaceable. With that in mind, excessive heat can therefore reduce the overall lifespan of your entire system, not just individual components.

 

Therefore - it’s crucial that your gaming PC has a good-quality, powerful cooling system.

 

What are the different ways to keep a gaming PC cool?

 

As we mentioned earlier, there are two main ways that gaming PCs are cooled these days; air or liquid.

 

Below, you’ll find more information about both of these options and the pros and cons of each.

 

Air cooling

 

An air cooling system in a gaming PC will typically consist of a heatsink (or heatsinks) and a fan (or series of fans).

 

It works by using the natural air flow within a PC’s case. As heat rises from components, it is blown away using fans mounted inside the case. The process of drawing heat out of components is often assisted with the use of heatsinks.

 

Heat sinks are blocks of finned metal which are attached to the top of a component such as a CPU. They work by providing a much greater surface area, allowing for more air to circulate around the component, thus drawing away heat into the path of the PC’s fans.

 

Air cooling is the most basic way of keeping a gaming PC cool and is also the most affordable option. However, when it comes to very high-performance gaming PCs, basic air cooling systems can be overwhelmed with the amount of heat generated.

 

Whilst it’s possible to buy high-end air cooling systems that can cope with higher temperatures, they do tend to be noisy and bulky.

 

Liquid cooling

 

In recent years, liquid cooling has become increasingly popular, particularly amongst gamers who have high-end gaming PCs.

 

Liquid cooling systems usually consist of a heat block, a pump, a radiator, a reservoir and a series of pipes.

 

Your average liquid cooling system works by attaching the heat block to a component - usually the biggest generator of heat such as the CPU. This heat block is connected to a pipe filled with a cooling medium (such as distilled water).

 

This cooling medium is drawn through the pipe, away from the heat block and to a radiator.

 

Once at the radiator, the cooling medium cools down, with the radiator radiating heat out into the air away from the PC. Once cool, the cooling medium travels down another tube back to the heat block. From there, the cycle repeats.

 

The benefits of liquid cooling include the fact that it is highly effective and able to cool PCs far more effectively than air cooling systems. Liquid cooling systems also tend to be exceptionally quiet, and have the added bonus of looking incredible too!

 

On the downside, liquid cooling systems do remain more expensive than equivalent air cooling systems. They can also be more fiddly to install and require more regular checks and maintenance than air cooling systems.

 

Guide - want to know more? Make sure to set up the water cooling properly with this water cooling setup guide.

 

Conclusion

 

Which gaming PC cooling system is best for you? It depends on a number of factors, including your budget, your level of technical expertise, and how keen you are to obtain a performance boost for your system.

 

If you’re happy to spend the money and feel confident installing and maintaining such a system, and you’d like to benefit from the performance boost that comes with such a system,                             then we’d highly recommend a liquid cooling system as being the best way of keeping your gaming PC cool.

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